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Like it or loathe it, the spooky night of Halloween is almost upon us. Whether your whole family embraces the night of terrors and fun, or your children prefer to dress up and celebrate it whilst you stay cosy at home, there’s no denying Halloween’s popularity is no longer confined to America, with Britons spending scary amounts on sweets, treats and Halloween costumes in recent years.
Many of us may be guilty of just allowing our children to wear a Halloween costume once. But re-using the same costume, perhaps once for trick-or-treating and again for a school Halloween party, or saving a costume to pass onto a younger sibling or to swap with a friend the following year, can save a little bit of money and ensures your children get more use out of what is no doubt a perfectly good and perfectly terrifying costume!
To feel comfortable re-using a costume, in which children may have got dirty or sweaty if they have worn it to a Halloween party or been out and about trick-or-treating, you’ll want to wash the costume before its next wear. Since more treats probably get handed out on Halloween than tricks, we thought we’d put together our top tricks for Halloween costume washing, as a special treat for the parents.
Nylon, polyester and acrylic costumes are safe to machine wash, provided you do so on a cold temperature setting. You can even safely add a little bleach to the washing machine if the costume your washing is white. For best results always hang the costume to dry. It goes without saying that you should always read the laundry instructions on costume’s label before popping the costume in your washing machine.
Plenty of Halloween costumes comprise beads, sequins or tulle (a lightweight, very fine netting used in veils and gowns). These are often okay to be hand-washed. Although, it’s always best to check the costume’s label. Simply fill a lean sink or tub with cold water, together with a small dose of fabric softener and detergent. With the costume turned inside-out, carefully knead it for a minute, gently rubbing bits of the costume together. Afterwards, rinse thoroughly with cold water to get rid of all the washing detergent and fabric softener.
Avoid using your clothes dryer as there’s a chance this will ruin or shrink the costume. Instead, to dry, turn the Halloween costume the right way around and hang it up to air dry. To achieve a really fresh-smelling costume hang the costume to dry outside in full sunlight (if the weather permits).
Since hand-washing can be a lot of effort (especially when we’re all used to washing machines) ‘spot cleaning’ might be a wiser course of action, whereby you simply treat one part of the costume. This is ideal if only a small part of the costume has a stain and most of it is clean. Best results occur when you spot-clean a stain as quickly as possible, ideally as soon as you notice it. Steer clear of applying bleach to non-white costumes. It’s important that you’re aware of the recommended cleaning product to use for your costume, based on what works best and what is safest for the materials the costume is made of.
Any costume that warns ‘dry-clean only’ on the label has a high chance of fading, shrinking or having the colours run or bleed, if you ignore the instructions and hand-wash the costume at home. If your Halloween costume is made of rayon, velvet, pleather (imitation leather) or wool, your best option is to find a dry-cleaner who specialises in cleaning costumes. They can use their knowledge and experience to give your costume the best possible clean and preserve it for longer.
Brighouse Dry Cleaners have professionally dry-cleaned many theatre costumes for the Wakefield Gilbert and Sullivan Society and have extensive experience in wedding dress dry-cleaning. We would be more than happy to make sure your Halloween costumes are efficiently and effectively washed.
Most costumes are safe to iron after a proper clean. However, it’s always best to read the instructions on the label.
We advise storing your Halloween costumes in a cool, dry place. Ideally, a sealed garment bag, or a sealed container, box or tub that is free of mould. Storing your costumes this way minimises wrinkling and enables better preservation of your garment. Utilising a wrinkle remover (providing you follow the instructions on the packet) together with ironing are great ways to ensure your Halloween costume reverts to its original condition and quality.
If you’re in need of some high-quality emergency costume dry-cleaning, contact Brighouse Dry Cleaners today!